CNA Resumes & Resume Writing Guide

Although the demand for Certified Nursing Assistants (=CNA) is growing, you may still need a competitive advantage, especially for the top jobs. Use our Certified Nursing Assistant resume samples and accompanying write-up as tools to help in placing your resume at the front of the interview line. CNA's have a passion for providing care to patients, and our passion is resume creation.

By working through our resume guidelines and applying them to your own resume document, you will immediately grab the attention of hiring managers and recruiters by showing them that you are a competent professional ready to make a difference in the lives of patients.

Certified Nursing Assistant Resume Sample

(Free pdf CNA resume sample downloads are at the bottom of this page)

CNA Resume Writing Guide

Resume Sections

1. Contact Information: First
Name, Last Name, Phone Numbers, Email Address, and Location. Include professional profile links such as LinkedIn.

2. Career Summary:
View this as a capsule synopsis of your professional self to be written in 2-3 sentences. The introduction to your resume provides an outline of what is to come regarding your skills, accomplishments and working experience. A career summary could either be the first paragraph or the last paragraph a hiring manager ends up reading, so make it counts. Powerful action verbs, wow factors, and credentials should be incorporated into 4-6 lines, typed in bold, and also in a different font to grab the reader’s attention.

3. Qualifications Summary:
A degree is not required to apply for a Certified Nursing Assistant role. However, practical training to attain a non-degree certificate or diploma is a must. Ensure that your CNA practical training is listed first in the education section stipulating dates completed, qualification name, vocational school, and location). CNA training programs are approved by your state’s nursing board and by the National League for Nursing Accredited Commission (NLNAC). You may also list your results received for the CNA Certification Examination. If you have less than five years of experience, it is wise to include High School Diploma or GED particulars as well. Certified Nursing Assistants that completed additional courses, for instance, the OSHA Bloodborne Pathogen stand a better chance of securing higher-paying jobs as prestigious hospitals

4. Relevant Nursing Experience:
You may be a rookie Certified Nursing Assistant who just completed the CNA examination and required practical training consisting of extern and clinical experience. Elaborate on the type of patient care given during this period and beef your resume up with previous vocational, temporary, or permanent roles during the last ten years to beef up your resume. If you have been a Certified Nursing Assistant for a while, list the previous three employment histories or nursing experience for the last ten years. Separate duty sentences with bullet points to make the resume neat and easy to read.

5. Skills Summary/Key Skills:
Relevance is crucial to the skills section. Choose the most prominent skills mentioned in the job advertisement and align them with your core competencies and interpersonal traits. This approach is called Resume SEO and will guarantee that your application passes through ATS (applicant tracking systems) and the screening bots and be read by an actual human.

What to Highlight in a Certified Nursing Assistant Resume

Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) provides care to clients, patients, clients, or residents of the agency or facility or agency that they work for. These may include basic assistance with dressing, bathing, and eating or performing medical activities such as taking vital signs, administering medications or setting up IVs, for example.

Regardless of the specific duties, you perform as a Certified Nursing Assistant, there are certain aspects to highlight on your resume that will assure recruiters and hiring managers of your commitment to individualized care and your core competencies to provide each patient with the best possible care and service.

First up is your work setting. Certified Nursing Assistants are employed in a variety of working environments:

  • Long Term Care Facilities: Also called Nursing homes trained CNA’s are employed to assist the elderly, disabled, or mentally ill patients in performing basic functions such as eating, going to the bathroom, or bathing. You would also be responsible for taking vital signs, drawing blood samples or administering daily medicines.
  • Home Health Agencies: They offer Certified Nursing Assistants with the option to work with clients individually on a “one to one” basis. In this role, you are assigned to a single patient providing them with home care or ADL (assisted daily living), for example, meal preparation, housekeeping, shopping, and general preventative healthcare.
  • Hospitals: Certified Nursing Assistant jobs are most commonly found in hospitals that could be private or government-operated facilities. Gaining hospital experience offers CNA’s a chance to get exposure to a wide variety of patient care categories, for instance, ER, Geriatrics or Pediatrics. The work pace is breakneck due to the number of patients that require assistance every day.

Next on the resume agenda is the scope of your role. Some nurses are tasked with one or two primary duties, such as taking vital signs and prepping patients for surgery, but they perform these duties for a large number of patients across the facility. In other cases, Certified Nursing Assistants can be assigned to specific wards in the hospital, for instance, the Cancer or Burn Wards, where they perform more comprehensive nursing duties, but only for patients in that particular ward.

A smart idea is to break down your primary functions into subcategories and elaborate on your daily KPI’s for each category:

  • Bathing, Dressing, Feeding: Explain to recruiters the schedule that you follow to get all the patients bathed, fed, and dressed in an appropriate timeframe and also mention how many patients you can handle in a day. You can also provide more detail on the nature of the conditions your patients have requiring your assistance with ADL (assisted daily living activities) for example stroke victims, or amputees
  • Taking Vital Signs: This may include monitoring blood pressure or taking temperatures, and you need to list the equipment you are comfortable in using and also how you would record the readings.
  • Cleaning & Sanitizing: If you are tasked with cleaning and sanitation of wards, rooms, laundry, and bedpans, stipulate the number of hours it takes you to complete each cleaning activity. Although not glamorous, keeping patients comfortable with clean sheets, spotless rooms, and sterile bathrooms is an important aspect of a Certified Nursing Assistant’s job.
  • Medical Procedures and Equipment: Once you have a bit of skin in the game and a few months experience, more exciting activities such as setting up medical equipment for consultations or theatre operations will become part of your KPI’s. List all the machinery that you are responsible for and also the equipment that you can use when performing medical procedures such as incisions, setting up IV’s and drawing blood.
  • Safety: Patient safety is a crucial part of a Certified Nursing Assistant’s job. Tell the reader about your CPR and First Aid credentials and whether you had to put those skills to the test in any way shape, or form during your career. Just as important is environmental safety and security, here you can mention knowledge of safety policies, security protocols, emergency procedures, and fire safety processes.

* Cool Tip for a stellar resume: Make a favorable first impression by including appreciation letters from patients and family members or recommendations given by supervisors and physicians to boost your credibility. Add them to Instagram, Pinterest, or create a folder on Google Drive and include the links in your resume document.

CNA Resume Objectives & Examples

Hospital administrators, Medical Facility Boards, Staff Nurses, Matrons, and Physicians are responsible for hiring Certified Nursing Assistants. Create a resume summary that captures their attention and interest immediately.

Use a career summary to impress hiring managers with a snapshot of your experience, passion for patients, accomplishments and most prestigious credentials. Remember to elevate the impact of your career summary by including a wow factor or measurable achievement.

A cool trick is to replicate the terminology from the job advertisement in your career synopsis to show how your experience aligns with the job at hand. For example: if the job calls for empathy, a passion for patients, and meticulous nature, use similar wording in your career summary.

Example Objectives:

Career Summary 1

Compassionate, empathetic CNA graduate with CPR Certification and six-months practical experience gained in an ER environment. Committed to providing excellent patient care proven by numerous commendations from ER Physicians and previous patients. Adept at operating a variety of emergency response medical equipment such as defibrillators and resuscitation devices with three years of experience gained working as a volunteer paramedic.

Career Summary 2

Patient-focused Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) with six years of experience in providing direct patient care in pediatric and neonatal wards. Highly adept at taking vital signs and administering medication to babies and infant patients. CPR and BLS certified. Meticulous in adhering to health and safety protocols to maintain infection control standards. 

Career Summary 3

Top-performing Certified Nursing Assistant with a proven track record in offering excellent assisted daily living (ADL) care to senior citizens in a hospice environment.  Highly attentive to individual patient needs from a physical and emotional perspective. Genuine desire to improve the comfort levels of patients and meticulous about adhering to safety and security policies and minimize any external risks to patients and the direct facility environment.

CNA Job Descriptions & Responsibility Samples

A Hospital Principal or Health Facility Executive board may expect specific foundational skills and work duties on a Certified Nursing Assistant Resume. In the section below, we have listed numerous generic job duties and CNA responsibilities that you may amend to align to your current and previous work experience.


A Certified Nursing Assistant may:
  • Display sound clinical skills in assessment of vital signs, performing glucose checks and lab draws
  • Providing pre- and post-operative care to patients in ICU
  • Adhere to safety guidelines to eliminate safety risks to patients and the health care facility environment
  • Ensure the accurate, timely flow of information by maintaining detailed patient records providing progress updates to respective healthcare teams
  • Comply with HIPAA standards in processing patient documentation and recording of medical information
  • Provide high-quality patient assistance in rehab, surgical, acute-care, hospice nursing-home healthcare settings
  • Focused on preserving patient dignity and minimizing discomfort during nursing duties such as bed bathing, inserting IV’s drawing blood, removing draining bags and changing bedpans
  • Maintain up to date charts recording hourly vital sign scores such as temperature, blood pressure, and heart rates
  • On-call to answer patient buzzers and assisting with requests from patients and family members where needed
  • Turn, reposition and ambulate elderly patients on a six-hour schedule
  • Observing patients for any changes in physical or mental conditions and report issues to the Staff Nurse
  • Tidying-up wards, restrooms, and family waiting areas
  • Assist with cleaning and sanitizing theatre equipment and surgical instruments post-operative procedures
  • Assist with serving meals and feeding patients during breakfast and lunchtimes also offering snacks and beverages to visiting family members
  • Assist incapacitated patients in maintaining daily personal hygiene such as bathing, dental care, and skincare regimes
  • Comfortable with basic medical procedures, for example, administering enemas, applying dressings, and conducting heat and ice treatments
  • Comply with HIPAA Privacy Act to protect confidential medical records and patient information.
  • Measure and record patients’ liquid and food intake
  • Assist the Staff Nurse with complex medical procedures
  • Monitor medical supply levels in the storeroom and conduct a weekly stocktake of medication

Highlight Your Accomplishments

Recruiters and hiring managers review hundreds of resumes every month. This means your Certified Nursing Assistant resume should catch their attention for the right reasons. To improve the visibility of your application, accomplishments should be listed in a separate section of your resume. The aim of accomplishments statements is to showcase your ability to care for patients with your excellent technical skills as well as interpersonal traits of empathy, compassion, and encouragement quantified by numbers representing the outcomes you have achieved. Quantifying accomplishment statements elevate their impact, so weave numerical values, percentages, scores, numbers, frequencies, and time frames into your statements.

You should pick an average of five accomplishments/achievements that you deem significant enough to distinguish you from the rest of the candidates.

Let us look at a few questions to ask yourself when writing accomplishment statements to add depth and prove your capability to generate results:

  • What is the number of patients you are assigned to care for in a day?
  • What is the size of the facility you work at?
  • How many times do you take vital signs in a day?
  • What type of medical procedures can you perform and how many of these have you performed?

Accomplishment Statement Examples:

  • Directed a team of junior certified nursing assistants for two weeks in the absence of the nursing manager with a zero-incident rating
  • Implemented a system that facilitated continuity of patient care across multiple shifts resulting in a 25% increase in positive patient reviews
  • Spearheaded a nursing risk management initiative reducing the probability of incorrectly administering medication by 99.9%
  • Implemented automated instrument sanitation and sterilizing schedule with phone notifications and reminders thereby reducing infection risks by 85%
  • Created an online cloud-based recordkeeping system which increased efficiency in documenting nursing activities via reports, forms, and logs with 50%

CNA Education Section & Examples

The education section of a Certified Nursing Assistant should be comprehensive detailing all qualifications, certifications, training programs and courses completed (in this section more is more).

If the hiring manager finds it difficult to see your credentials, you are already halfway to the decline resume pile. Display your education and certifications neatly in separate lines on your resume. Be sure to include the certification name, issue date, the entity that issued the certificate, and, if relevant, the expiration date.

If you’ve completed additional training or completed additional certifications relevant to a Certified Nursing assistant job, feel free to include those too.

A CNA’s education section example:

2017 – Associates Degree in Medical Assistance, Metropolitan Technical College, Omaha, NE

2016 – Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Maryland Board of Nursing, Baltimore, MD
Course Curriculum: Role and Responsibilities of the CAN, Safety and Infection Control, Promotion of Function and Health of Residents, Basic Nursing Care and Restorative Skills, Emotional and Mental Health Needs, Resident Rights

2016 – CPR Certification, American Red Cross, Baltimore, MD

2015 – Nurse’s Aide Program, Apex Nursing School, Sometown, CT
Nurse’s Aide Program
Completed 60 hours of clinical training

2014 – Basic Life Support (BLS) for Healthcare Providers, American Heart Association, Mecosta Medical Center, Traverse City, MI

CNA's Resume Skills List

It is a given that Certified Nursing Assistants should have a passion for patient care, be their emotional soundboard of patients and families, and enhance patient comfort levels. All of these require various personality traits and technical competencies.

A smart way to present your skills section is to use skills matrix tables to provide a comprehensive picture of your skill set. The three skills matrix tables to use in a Certified Nursing Assistant resume include Technical Competencies, Interpersonal Traits, and a final one for Tools, Instruments, and Equipment.

Technical Competencies

Progress EvaluationsPatient Assessment
Report WritingPatient Interaction
Vital Signs ObservationDiagnostic Testing
Emergency Room ExperienceICU
Shift RotationsPatient Safety
Blood AdministrationIV Therapy
Lab TestingObservation
Care PlanningInfection Control
Electronic ChartingQuality Assurance and Process Improvement
Patient AdvocacyNursing Leadership
Wound IrrigationRehabilitation
Surgery PreparationAdvanced Medical Technologies and Equipment
Pain ManagementReport Analysis
Direct and Indirect Patient CarePatient Education and Counseling
Medical TerminologyElectronic Medical Records
HIPAA RegulationsVirus Control Protocols
Cleaning and Disinfecting EquipmentCharting Patient Services and Activities
Collect SpecimensEnsuring Patient Rights
DocumentationFollowing Care Plans
Advocacy and SupportMaintaining an Orderly and Clean Environment

Interpersonal Traits

ResourcefulnessCustomer Service
AccuracyConflict Resolution
Attention to DetailCooperative
MeticulousAttention to Detail
DependablePositive Attitude
PatientProblem Solving
ListeningOrganizational Skills
Safety OrientedSense of humor

Tools, Equipment & Instruments

StethoscopeBlood pressure meter
Gait beltScales
Hoyer liftsAutoclave
Easy StandsHemoglobin machines
Surgical scissorsElectrocardiogram (ECG)
DefibrillatorsBlood-glucose Meter

Qualifications/Certifications associated with Certified Nursing Assistants

AS in Emergency Medical Services & Lab TechnologyAssociates in Surgical Technology
Masters Diploma for Practical Nursing
BA Healthcare AdministrationADN in NursingBachelors of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN)
Certificate in Medical AssistingCertificate in Medical Office AdministrationAssociates Degree in Nursing (ADN)
Advanced First AidCertificate Patient Relations & EthicsNational Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN)

Professional information on Certified Nursing Assistants

Sectors: Healthcare, Home care, Medical, Clinical
Career Type: Differentiated Instruction, Children-Centered Learning, Early Childhood Development, Peer-to-Peer Learning, Project-Based Learning
Person type:  Supervisor, Cheerleader, Disciplinarian, Liaison, Helper, Tutor, Counselor, Coordinator, Instructor, Guide
Education levels: Nursing Diploma, Bachelor’s degree and upwards
Salary indication: $7.25 to $26.65 per hour  (Indeed)
Labor market: Estimated 11% from 2018 to 2028 (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Organizations: Hospitals, Medical Facilities, Corporate, Step Down Facilities, Nursing Homes, Old Age Homes, Disability Clinics, School Clinics, Military, Hospices, Schools, Psychiatric Institutions, Rehab Facilities

Download CNA Resume Samples (Pdf)

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